Who is My Neighbor? (Won’t You Be My Neighbor? series #1)
Jason White



Who is my neighbor? In our first week, we are focusing on identifying and serving our neighbors by performing Spirit-led acts of kindness to show people God’s love for them! Also, we are providing Kindness Cards that you can hand out as the Holy Spirit leads you to serve someone during the week! Check out more at https://colonialhills.com/wont-you-be-my-neighbor






*This transcript was auto-generated by a transcription service and may differ from the originally spoken content*

Read Sermon Transcript Here
Yeah, you didn't know you're gonna you could come to church to see a bald head and Mr. Rogers today did you hear he is live and in the flesh, Mr. Rogers with no hair, man. Gotta love Fred Rogers in that particular show, right? But you can't. I mean, you can't think of Mr. Rogers without thinking about that song, right? I mean, it's just one of those iconic things. And, and it's one of those things that once you hear it, it gets stuck in your head, and you will be singing it all day or all week long. And so you're welcome for that. But no, it's it again, is one of those things where you also can't think of him without thinking about that that phrase, right? I mean, you think of Mr. Rogers, you think of the phrase, won't you be my neighbor? In neighboring is what we're going to be talking about over the next three weeks, and more specifically, how Jesus leads us to love and to serve our neighbors. You know, speaking of speaking of neighbors, when Natalie and I had first gotten married, I mean, it wasn't real long after we had gotten married, where we were sitting around our house, it was, I think it was a Saturday morning, and all of a sudden, we hear this bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang on on the front door, I mean, somebody was trying to get our attention in an urgent matter. And so it kind of startled me and I jumped up and I kind of ran to the door and, and open it up. And it was this, this older guy and a set of overalls and, and I am not kidding that when I say I, as soon as I opened the door, and he could see my face, that this older man and these overalls, just began to light me up with one cuss word after another. I mean, he was cussing me up one side and down another I was learning things that I didn't even know existed. As far as curse words go and vocabulary. I mean, he was reading the face, it was spitting and spewing. I mean, he was stark raving mad at me. And I don't even know who the guy was. I'm gonna find out, he was my neighbor. He lived directly behind us, and we hadn't gotten the chance to meet each other. And apparently, what he was so upset about was our dogs. Well, one dog in particular, see, at this particular time, we had this one dog named Dawson, and Dawson was one of those dogs were, let me just put it this way, if we would have known how to train him, or could have found someone to train him in this way. You ever seen those competitions where dogs like run and do like the long jump thing into the water or whatever, like, I think he might could have won one of those things. I mean, he he could jump he had springs for legs. And so he could stay in at our six foot privacy fence that we both shared between us and my neighbor. And he could just jump without even running and his head would go up over the six foot privacy fence. So when he would come out to work in his backyard, and he would be kind of close to the fence and we would let Dawson out to go use the restroom. And he would notice some activity, he started jumping and jump and enemy, his head would just be popping up and he would be barking. And he, he didn't really know if he was gonna be able to get over the fence. And I think it just scared him. He was afraid for his life if this dog got over what my dog was going to do to him. And so he showed up at my front door. And he was letting me have it with how unhappy he was that I hadn't secured our dogs. And like I said he was ripping me a new one, and then some and even threatened to kill our dog. I mean, it was just not a pretty scene, it took everything in me not too rare back and just deck the guy right there. But thanks to the Holy Spirit, I guess. He allowed me to be calm, and to just take it until he was done, which was a significant amount of time later. And just to begin to apologize and let him know how sorry that we were, and that we would try our best to make sure that that wasn't really ever going to happen again. And as soon as I did that, he kind of collected himself a little bit and he left and I shut the door and I ran to tell Natalie what was happening. And you know, I was I was shaking, but then I'm thinking oh, great. And now I've got to be neighbors with this guy, right? I mean, this is the guy of all people that live directly behind us, and I have to be a neighbor to him. But I think I don't really you know, do I really have to be a neighbor like in the in the Mr. Rogers sense of the word, right? I mean, I know he technically live right behind me, but that doesn't mean I have to be neighborly to him, right? I mean, this guy was mean he was rude. He was grumpy out of liking. We didn't have anything in common. So we don't really have to be neighbors right. Well, this got me thinking what what is a neighbor who is a neighbor? How do we define who a neighbor is really, I was trying to justify that even though he lives right behind me, he wasn't really my neighbor, I was trying to figure out a way to make sure that I could justify in my mind that he was not. Well, one day Jesus got asked an exact same question by an expert in the law, who tested him and as you're gonna see, wanted to justify himself and asks the same question of Jesus, Jesus, who, who is my neighbor? And it's on us to look at that question today as we start this series, Luke, Dr. Luke, who wrote the Gospel of Luke tells us about this particular occasion where Jesus was asked this question by this expert in the law, it's found in Luke chapter 10. And here's what Luke says happened, beginning of verse 25. He says, On one occasion, an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. So he had kind of ulterior motives. We see right off the bat, the teacher, he asked, What must I do to inherit eternal life? What is written in the law? He replied, how do you read it? He entered Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, with all your strength with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself? Verse 28, you have answered correctly, Jesus replied, Do this, Jesus says, and you will live, but he wanted to justify himself. And so he asked to Jesus, who is my neighbor? So there's no question that this expert in the law asked him but before we look at how Jesus replied, and how he answered this particular question that he was asked, I do want us to look at just a couple of things that were said in this because it sounds like Jesus may be telling this guy that he can be saved through the law, that if he just loved the Lord, his God with all of his heart, mind, soul and strength, and he loved his neighbor as himself that he could inherit eternal life. But is that really what Jesus is saying here? I don't think it is. I think first and foremost, we can know that because the message of Scripture all over the Gospels and the New Testament, is that we can't do anything to inherit eternal life. It's a gift that we have to receive from Jesus himself by faith. I mean, Jesus was asked one time, according to John, in chapter six, from this guy who comes up to him and says, Hey, what must we do? beginning of verse 28, what must we do to do the works? God requires? That's a similar question to the one that this expert in the law asked, right? What do we have to do? What's the work that God requires for me to be able to inherit eternal life? And they are Jesus answered him in verse 29, the work of God is this to believe in the one he has sent? It's a gift you receive through faith through belief, John, chapter three, we were even told the same thing that God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes right is this is communicated throughout Scripture, the apostle Paul and writers of New Testament of Ephesians chapter two, four, it's by grace that you're saved through faith, and he even spells it out. It's not by works. There's nothing required of you, you can't do anything. So this is the message that we see all over. So what's Jesus didn't doing here? What's What's he trying to say? Well, I think he's trying to show this guy, his his need for a Savior. Now, I mean, listen, the guy said, Here's the way I read it, if I love the Lord, my God with all of my heart, all of my soul, all of my strength, and all of my mind, and I love my neighbor as myself, then then I should be able to inherit eternal life. And Jesus says, Yeah, you go do all of that, like Love the Lord your God, all with all of your heart, all of the time, all of your mind all of the time, all of your strength all the time. Love your neighbor as yourself the exact exact same way that you would love yourself all of the time. And you got it buddy, you're in than other words, he's gonna have to be perfect, right? But instead of the light bulb moment going off, this guy doesn't really see it, he gets it. And he did. Well, I can do that. Especially if I can justify in my own mind that I am doing okay. And so he is trying to justify himself. And that's where the question comes from, who's my neighbor? He's probably thinking, being an expert in the law, being a good Jewish man that, you know, which was customary around that time, if you were Jewish to consider your neighbors really only other fellow Jews, and you're my people to take care of my people. I love them the same way that I love myself. So as long as I can justify, like, that's who my neighbor actually is, then I'm probably doing okay with most of this. So it's in this response, or it's in response to this question that Jesus tells one of, if not the most famous parable of all time. Verse 30, a parable of the Good to me hurtin, he says in reply, Jesus said, A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho. Now when Jesus said He was going down, he meant it literally, right? I mean, the distance between Jerusalem to Jericho was about 17 miles, and one was up here and one was down here. I mean, one was 2600 feet above sea level, the other was 125 below sea level. And so there's a steep drop all the way down. This was a path that was dangerous to travel, not just because it was so steep, but because it was it was rocky it winded all around and through the desert, there were caves all along the route and in caves, make good hiding spots, good hiding spots for people to hide out and to attack and Rob other people. And well, Jesus tells us that's exactly what happened next. He says after he says a man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, he said when he was attacked by robbers, and he said that they stripped him of his clothes, and they beat him. And then they went away, leaving him half dead. And so obviously, Jesus is painting this picture. That this guy is in a dire situation. He is in an awful situation. He's lost all of his possessions. He has nothing else. He's lost everything, right? He's lying on the road naked. And he's at the mercy of other people while he's dying, right? I mean, if he lays there, and he can't do anything to help himself, he's half dead, he's gonna die. This is coming for him. He's not in a position to build a position to be able to help himself. He's at the mercy of anyone else who might be walking by and willing to help him. But thank goodness, Jesus tells us that there are people who walk by the first guy he says that walks by is going to be a priest. And this is someone who would have been seen in a really good light within their particular culture. A priest who was elite Jewish class, someone who ministered in the temple represented the highest of piety in all of their culture. So this is this is good news for this guy who is in need of someone else or the need of mercy from someone else so let's let's see what he does. Verse 31. Jesus says a priest happened to be going down the same road and when he saw the man he he passed by on the other side he didn't really really get any help from that guy. Nope, don't really get any explanation why? Guess But Jesus doesn't really tell us. Main point is he doesn't doesn't stop. Good news, though, is that Jesus says another guy is coming by this guy's a Levite. This is another guy who's really respected in their Jewish culture, right? This is someone who would have been seen kind of like an assistant to a priest, right. And again, someone who's a respected key religious figure. So if for some reason the priest couldn't help the guy, you got a good Levi coming along with him. And so this guy, this guy is in good hands. Because he got back up right, verse 32. So to Jesus says a Levite when he came to the place and saw him pass by on the other side. Oh, for two good news, as Jesus says, there's a third guy that's going to be coming by but kind of a problem with this. Problem is Jesus says it's a Samaritan. Problem with Samaritans is that they were some of the least respected people within the Jewish culture. These were people who were Jewish, and had intermarried with foreigners were now considered to be traitors, rebels, half breeds unclean, to be avoided at all costs. They were despicable, in the eyes of the Jews. So if Jesus is telling a parable, and introducing a character like this, and a priest has come by and had and helped the guy in the Levites, come by and hadn't helped the guy, then fat chances, Samaritan is going to be able to do anything for him because what good custody of the Samaritan do in any particular situation, right? But let's see what happens. Verse 33, Jesus says, But a Samaritan as he traveled came to where the man was, and when he saw them, oh, this is different. He took pity on him. Jesus said that when the Levite and the priest came by, they saw him and just walked on by but the Samaritan saw him and this is different. He took pity on him, but what does it mean to take pity on him? What is Jesus trying to get at here are the Greek word that this was originally written in means compassion, and it was a word that was used to describe the seat of emotions or the feelings in A person's deep rooted feelings. And so what Jesus is trying to communicate to us about the Samaritan is that when he saw this guy, that he was moved deeply by seeing this guy who was in need he was he was truly concerned about him. She's trying to communicate that his his heart, he could feel his heart begin to break for this guy who was in need in this moment. That didn't happen with the other two. Let's see what it says see does next verse 34. Here again referring to the Samaritan went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring oil pouring on oil and wine, these would have been used for medicinal purposes, of course, the oil to to kind of soothe the skin the wine could have been used for and as an antiseptic, right and he he poured the oil and the wine on there and even even bandage him up and wrapped him up and this guy was, was going above and beyond. He was really caring for this guy's needs and trying to do what he could do to help make him get better. But Jesus says He not even done. The next he says that he put the man on his own donkey and brought him to an end to take care of him. Now let me ask you a question. If the Samaritan put him on his own donkey, think guess what that meant for the Samaritan the rest of the trip. He was walking, right? He was on foot 70 mile journey. I don't know where they were at along the way when the guy got robbed. But I mean, it probably wouldn't run at the very end, right. So this guy is going to have to walk now here, you take my donkey so that I can meet your needs. And we can get you there safely and continue to take care of you and I will walk this guy is going above and beyond to take care of this guy's needs even says when he gets there, no doubt being physically exhausted from walking the entire way. Jesus says that He continued to take care of him. And then even when he had to leave, he makes other arrangements, which is what we're told next verse 35, says the next day, he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. Look after him, he said, and when I returned, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have. And talk about being generous. I mean, some commentators say that this was enough money for this guy to potentially stay up to three more weeks in the end while he recovered. So it gives them enough money for him to say up to three more weeks to fully recover. And if he didn't fully recover, and three more weeks, he said, I'll be back. And I'll even make up the difference on how much it is that I owe you for what I'm not paying you for. Right now this guy is going way above and beyond to meet this guy's knee. He didn't just give him a quick little handout like I mean, he is meeting his knee. He's seeing him all the way through until he gets him on the other side of this, and in a better place. And it was a Samaritan of all people, the most unlikely hero of the story, the one who was a traitor, a rebel, a half breed unclean, to be avoided at all costs. He becomes the hero of the story. Whether this is the end of the parable, Jesus has done telling the story now but now he turns his attention back to the expert in the law. And he asks him this in verse 36. Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers? Verse 37, the expert in the law, replied the one who had mercy on him. And Jesus told him go and do likewise. So notice, and maybe you already picked up on this, but the question that the expert in the law had asked Jesus was, who is my neighbor? When Jesus follows up and asks him a question after telling the story, though, he says, Which one of these was a neighbor referring to actions here? Right. In other words, Jesus is saying the way I just told the story, and the way I just described the actions that took place, these are the ones that define who a true neighbor really is, or what a true neighbor really does. Right. Now, we're gonna look at those in just a second. But I do want to point out that even though he didn't, he asked the question this way, we do see the answer to the first question that was asked me he says, Who is my neighbor, I mean, to tell a story about a random guy who happened to just be in need and him to come across this guy wasn't anything planned. And to bring a Samaritan in the story who wasn't really respected and make him the hero tells us that the answer to the question Who is my neighbor is, anyone who's in need. It's not defined by geographic location or it's not just the people that we like, or the people who are like us and we share something in common it's anyone regardless of who they are regardless of where they begin, whatever it is that they done, however it is that they vote. Whoever's in need is our neighbor. But again, Jesus went above and beyond just answering that question again, he defined what a neighbor does. What do we see, when we saw that the Samaritan first of all really noticed him. I mean, he did say that the others, they all saw him. But this guy really saw him like, like the other two saw him and just kind of did one of those quick glances over and like I didn't really see anything, right? You pretend that you don't really notice, right? This guy noticed he didn't let his eyes wander. Secondly, we talked about this early, he was moved with compassion, he allowed himself to really feel for what was going on in this guy's situation, if he didn't get any help, that he was potentially going to die. And then thirdly, that compassion led him to invest his time led him to invest his resources, his own energy, and walking and all the above, to be able to meet this guy's need. In other words, he loved him. As he would have loved himself. Nothing Jesus wants to do the same thing through us. He wants to lead us to notice first and foremost people in need. He wants to move us to feel compassion for those who are in need, and have a deep rooted love for them in the same way that he has a deep rooted love for them. And then he wants to use us to invest our time, to invest our energy, and to invest our resources to help meet those needs. See, on the other side of the cross, after Jesus's death, and His resurrection, and His ascension, we know that He sent the Holy Spirit, and that anytime you and I put our faith and trust in Jesus to forgive our sins and become our Savior, that the Holy Spirit really does get deposited into our lives. And we talked about how the spirit is our guide. Last week, we ended up this next steps series. And we talked about how because scripture communicates this, one of the things that we should and always could expect the Holy Spirit to lead us in is to express the life of Christ through us, for him to be able to express the life of Christ through us to a lost in a dying world around us. I mean, we're even talking about Apostle Paul, when he begins to mention the the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians. Five, that kindness is one of those fruits. So we should always expect that the spirit if he lives in us, which he does, if you've said yes to Jesus, we should always expect him to produce acts of kindness through us, towards our neighbors. I told you about my neighbor earlier, the guy that lived right behind us that gave me a tongue lashing for a little while. Like I said, I came in and I was shaking, I was nervous, I was mad, I was upset. I was telling Natalie about the whole thing. And, and I'm not real proud of it. But all I could think about was all the different ways I could make the guy's life even more miserable than it already was. All the things I was about to do to me, right. And thank goodness, Natalie, no doubt led by the Holy Spirit had a different idea. She spent the rest of the afternoon baking cookies. And she thought we should do an act of kindness towards him. And take him those cookies. And so she finished baking the cookies. And she encouraged me to take the cookies over and give them to him and apologize and say why can't you take the cookies over and do it yourself? Right? I said yes, I'd kind of lowered my head and walked over there half defeated already and cookies in one hand and knocked on the door and waited and fully expecting that the second he opened the door, I was going to receive my second tongue lashing of the day, right. But he opened it up. And before I could let him speak, I just began to say sir, I'm just want to apologize again for our dogs. And I'm jumping so much and it's scaring you and in the situation you are in and my wife made these cookies and we just wanted to give them to the to again, say that we're really sorry. And that we really are going to do our best to make sure the dogs are more secure and that and then everything's good and we're safe and all the above and the guy just looked at me with this blank stare right and I didn't really know what to do. And I started to turn away and just walk in leave. And all of a sudden the guy invites me in. I'm like, Well, I guess today's is good day to die as any other when he goes to Jesus gets better judgment. I went in the guy's house, he would just give me a tongue lashing right? But he offered me coffee. He invited me to sit down on his couch. And we just got to talk. And he asked me questions about who I was. And I got to ask him questions about who he was. And, gosh, come to find out the guy had lost his wife several years before. He was living there alone. He didn't have any other family nearby didn't have a great relationship with them. He dealt with chronic pain almost every day. I mean, heck, I get grumpy when I get a headache, right? I can't imagine much less, having a chronic pain to deal with every single day and being alone and someone that you had been with your entire life not even being there. And so my heart really began to break for the guy. And we had a great conversation getting to know each other, he took me around, showed me his his car that he was trying to restore in his garage. I mean, we were like, we were like best buds effort was all said and done. I was like, Man, that was the best choice I ever had by somebody that led to a different outcome, right? But listen, it all got started. All of that happened. Through a simple act of kindness, through baking some cookies, in walking up to a guy's door, in handing them to him, opened up his heart, to lead to a conversation, where we could really get to know each other and understand each other. This is what the Lord can do in and through simple acts of kindness. And not just to our immediate neighbors, but to to all member as we were, we've seen in the story that they're all our neighbors, anyone who's in need throughout our community is our neighbor. And so this is what we're going to do each and every single one of us, all of us. Let me let me hear you guys say all of us, all of us, right? All of us. Say one more time, all of us are going to ask the spirit. Each and every one of us are going to ask the Spirit to lead us to guide us and to empower us to do acts of kindness all week long. And just see what he says. As a matter of fact, you're like going, I don't even know what to do. I don't even really know where to get started. Well, if you haven't noticed, when you grabbed a bulletin whenever you came in, there was an insert in that bulletin, can you pull it out just to you know, just to show me you have it, maybe just to encourage me a little bit up here. There you go hold it up, a lot of you got it. You can see on here that on one side, it says acts of kindness examples. And these are a number of things that we talked about as a staff that we prayed through. And we felt led to give you examples of ways that the spirit could lead you to do acts of kindness to people all throughout our community, starting today after the service all the way through next Saturday, coming into next Sunday. Now it's not limited to this page, if the Spirit lays something on your heart now, let's say not sorry, what nonetheless, right? I mean, you go with whatever the spirit lays on your heart to do is an act of kindness with someone. These are just some examples. If you need some ways to to get thinking about those things. You may also notice that somewhere on each pew, there should be some on the right side of the Pew on the left side of the Pew that there's some business cards, somebody who's sitting on the far end of the queue, can you grab there should be a stack of them. And can you maybe grab a handful of those and then pass them down so that everyone on your row has a chance to get some of these. And listen, if there's not enough for everyone to take as many as you would want. We've got a ton of these, we printed out something like 2500 to 3000 of these. And so if they're not in your pews, there's some in the back here, there's some out here in the foyer, you just let us know. And we will get you these cards. Now. Here's what I want you to notice on the blue side of the card. It says this act of kindness is an expression of God's love for you, it's what we want you to do is we want you to hand this to whoever you feel led to do the act of kindness for right and if you can't, you don't know them, you don't see them or you're doing something. And they don't even really know you're doing it for them. But you can leave it for them on the window of their car or front porch or somewhere where they're going to see it. Once you leave the car. Leave the car on the other side, you'll notice that it says discover more about life in Christ. There's a QR code that goes straight to our work or our website. There's some information about Sunday services, our addresses on here, our phone number is on here. This just gives the people that we serve a chance to be able to know that this was something that was done as an expression of God's love for them. We're praying and hoping that the Lord will use this to open up their hearts to really begin to understand how much God really does love them. What Jesus really did for them on the cross. So take a handful of those hands. Those out when you do those, here's the next thing that we need you to do. And this is on the back, I think of that insert as well is we need you to share your stories. All right, I'm not asking you to brag on yourself, I know that for some of you that may feel like that's what you're doing. But we really want to encourage you to post on social media, or to email us your story, you can email Aaron at Colonial hills.com. He's even got instructions on how to hashtag on social media if you're into social media. And you can do that so that we can collect all of the stories, I would even encourage you if it's a situation that that's it appropriate that is appropriate to do. So, to pull your cell phone out, or have someone else do it. And video, the random act or the act of kindness, I'm not gonna use the word random, because if the Spirit is leading us to do it, it's not really random. It's just an act of kindness, right. And again, here's why. Because a picture or a video story, things like that are worth 1000 words, right. And this is not to brag on you. It's to brag on Jesus for what He's doing in you and through you, and how he can use that to even inspire other people to go about doing the same kinds of things. When we gather back here next Sunday, we want to party, we want to celebrate what all God has done in and through us all week. And that's going to be hard to do if we can't share your stories. So we want to know your stories, post them to social media, email us, record them, text them, send them, email them to us so that we can actually share those stories as well. And then over the next couple of weeks, we're going to be looking at how to love and serve our neighbors behind the church here. And then how to love and serve our neighbors who live right next door to us. Now, if the Spirit leads you to serve in love your immediate neighbors during this week, that's fine, I'm not going to tell you not to necessarily do that. But in a way, I'm telling you not to do that, right, because we're going to do that later. All right, this is more like we want as many people all throughout the community, wherever it is that we're going to experience the love of Christ through these acts of kindness. And then we're going to talk about more specific specifically, because it's a little bit of a different situation, when you're out in the community, you may never see these people again, that you participate in this act of kindness to you're going to see your neighbors all the time. So we're talking about a little bit of a different thing, when we're talking about kindness and investing in them and following up with them. There's a lot more to that potentially. So we're gonna talk about that a lot more in depth on another week. Now, again, if the Spirit leads you to get into deeper conversations with people through these random acts of kindness, then no doubt, by all means trust the spirits leading in that. But I don't want you to underestimate again, the power of a simple act of kindness and what the Lord can really do with that, how it can open up hearts to receive His love. I was reading and came across another story this week, from another church who is doing a similar kind of campaign to, to this and, and they tell the story of these ladies, these three ladies who go into a restaurant together one evening, and they they order their meal, and the waitress has, of course come by to check on them. And they began to just get in conversation with her trying to get to know her asked her her name, to tell us about your life and what's going on and income to find out the lady is pregnant. She's, the husband isn't really in the picture, she's down and out on her luck. And each and every single time that she comes by to check on them, they just engage in more conversation. They're just genuine. They're just friendly. They're just being kind. They're showing her value, or showing her worth. We want to get to know you want to know what's really going on in your life. And the more they began to feel her out, the more that they felt led by the Spirit to do something else for this particular lady. And so the meal was finished up, they paid their bill, they all left, the waitress came back to clear the table and saw an envelope sitting on it with her name on it, she opens it up and there's a significant amount of cash that's in the envelope. And there's a note inside it saying we hope this goes a long way to help you kind of get caught up on all of your bills put you in a better situation before the baby comes, maybe be able to buy some things that the baby needs and just put you in a better place. And they had a card that was similar to this that they had put in the envelope as well. And it said something similar, maybe not the exact same thing. But again, something like this act of kindness was done as an expression of God's love for you. And she was like, Oh, this was done by Christians. Let's see before then. She didn't really have a great high view of Christians in the way she had maybe been true. did buy some before but because someone had loved her and served her and valued her in this way, and because she had the card and information on how to get to a service, she decided to give it a chance to give it a try. And she shows up at a service and she hears about Jesus and how Jesus died on the cross for her sins and to give her abundant life. And she says yes to Jesus, and she gets baptized not too much longer. And she becomes a member of the church. And she begins to get into small group and grow more and more and her understanding about the new life that she has in Christ. And then she began to find her role in the church and as serving in the church. And then she began to even do acts of kindness towards others out in the community, inviting them to participate in what was going on at the church. And once again, this all got started, because of an act of kindness from some ladies who were sensitive to the spirits leading while they were at a restaurant, who felt led to bless her in this way. And so again, I think this is the kind of thing that the Lord wants to do in and through us. Now, I'm not saying that we should expect that kind of thing with every act of kindness. No, that that's not up to us, though, right? I mean, honestly, we're, we're called to be led by the Holy Spirit, to follow through with the act of kindness, and then leave the results up to him. Right, I just want to encourage you to don't not to diminish or underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit to do something huge with that act of kindness, even if we never see it, right. So let's enter into it all together. I mean, we've been, we've been talking about this image, this image that's based on how Jesus in John seven says that for all those who come to believe in Him, that rivers of living water will begin to flow from within them. And we've been talking about this picture of rivers of living water flowing from 7330, South Broadway here on this campus, out from this campus, all throughout the community, to bless people and to give them the opportunity to experience the abundant life that Christ came to offer them, and FIS is a way that we can begin to allow Jesus to build those rivers of living water from here, the moment that we leave today. If so, we need you to be a part of this, this doesn't work. If one or two of us, get excited about it, and follow through with it. This works if we all as the church, unite arms, look to the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us. And that's my prayer and my hope that we'll all join together. And that we will flood our communities and in flood our communities, with acts of kindness all this week. Let's gather together and celebrate but the Lord does in us and through us. Amen. Are you with me in this? All right, because I'm with you in this and I'm excited about I don't care whether you are or not. All right, we're doing this, it's gonna be awesome. It's gonna be good. So let's pray. And let's ask the Lord to powerfully move in this time and work in us and through us, Father, thank You for Your word. Thank you for Jesus, thank You for defining who our neighbor is, and how you want to lead through us to be neighborly. To notice people in need to move us to feel compassion for them, and to use our time and our energy and our resources to bless them. So Father, we make ourselves available to you. We are praying in this moment, that as you launch us out as your church, your spirit will begin right now putting things on our minds for how you are leading us to serve in love and treat people with acts of kindness this week, whether we're adults, and you're sending us out all over the community and into our workplaces and all around whether we're students and you're sending us out into our schools, or our sports teams, or the band or whatever extracurricular we are all making ourselves available to you for your Spirit to lead us guide us and empower us to carry out those acts of kindness and we look forward to gathering together next week to celebrate what you did in us and through us as adults as parents and moms and dads as teenagers and students and kids in elementary school and whoever we are. We know that you are powerfully in and through us as your instrument when we make ourselves available to you and that's what we You're doing in this moment. Father, I also pray that you will open up hearts and minds for those who will be recipients of these acts of kindness where you allow them to receive it in a spirit and a manner where they're really feeling and sensing and beginning to understand with their minds how much you really do love them, and what you've accomplished through your Son Jesus on the cross, to be able to express that love to them and for them to be able to experience your abundant life and full forgiveness in them. And so would you open up hearts minds as they receive these acts of kindness and worked powerfully in their lives through these acts of kindness to lead them to take their next steps on however you're leading them in their journey. We give You all the praise. We give you all the glory, in all the honor even right now for what it is that you will do in and through us and in their lives this week, And all God's people said a man